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Sarah Sanders melts down trying to defend Trump’s tweets blaming Russia probe for Parkland shooting

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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders clashed with ABC News chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl on Tuesday.

“The president hasn’t said that Russia didn’t meddle. What he’s saying is it didn’t have an impact, and it certainly wasn’t with help from the Trump campaign. It’s very clear that Russia meddled in the election,” Sanders said during a press briefing.

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But Karl asked Sanders if President Donald Trump really thought — as he tweeted over the weekend — that the FBI failed to stop a school shooting in Florida because it was preoccupied with investigation the Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russia during the 2016 election.

Sanders insisted that was not what Trump thought.

“Did he mistweet?” Karl shot back. “He said this is not acceptable. they’re spending too much time to prove Russian collusion.”

“I think he’s making the point that we would like our FBI agencies to not be focused on something that is clearly a hoax in terms of investigating the Trump campaign and its involvement,” Sanders said.

“You just agreed that the evidence is that there the Russians interfered,” Karl said.

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“I said that the Trump campaign interfered and colluded with it,” Sanders said.

“But the investigation is obviously about what Russia did and raises the question now that you’ve said the president agrees, the national security adviser says the evidence is incontrovertible, what is the president going to about it?” Karl asked.

Sanders insisted the Trump administration had “spent a lot of time” on cyber security and said Russia was not fond of the president’s defense budget.

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Sanders later claimed Trump “has been tougher on Russia than Obama was in eight years combined.”

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Sondland is in ‘tremendous trouble’ no matter how he tries to change his testimony tomorrow: NYT columnist

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On Tuesday, in the wake of testimony from several witnesses in the impeachment hearing that broadly implicated EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland in improper backchannel foreign policy, New York Times columnist Wajahat Ali suggested that Sondland is in "tremendous trouble" — and that no testimony he could give tomorrow will get him out of this mess:

No. He will be trying to save himself. The perjury plus multiple stellar witnesses paint a damning portrait. He's in tremendous trouble. https://t.co/CxN5w0EErb

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Even the Republican witnesses make Donald Trump look like a depraved criminal

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The second half of Tuesday's hearing offered something new in the Donald Trump impeachment inquiry: Witnesses called by the Republican minority on the House Intelligence Committee. It's understandable why Republicans would want these two men.

One of them was Tim Morrison, a former National Security Council aide who is among the few people directly exposed to Trump's famous phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky who claims to believe there was nothing wrong with it. The other was Kurt Volker, a former special envoy to Ukraine, who appears to have been a major actor in Trump's extortion scheme in that country. Indeed, Volker was deemed one of the "three amigos" — along with Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Trump donor/EU ambassador Gordon Sondland — who Trump entrusted with Ukrainian relations as he exerted increasing pressure on the country's leaders to give into his extortion scheme.

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Impeachment: Trump’s ‘hearsay’ defense just crashed and burned

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In the panoply of contradictory and incoherent defenses of Donald Trump, a favorite of Republicans has been to harp on the claim that witnesses to Trump's extortion scheme against Ukraine were all "second-hand" or "third-hand." This has always been confounding, as the official summary readout of the famous phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows Trump clearly conditioning military aid and U.S. support on Zelensky giving a public boost to Trump's conspiracy theories about former Vice President Joe Biden and other Democratic leaders. The witnesses so far have simply affirmed what the written record demonstrates amply.

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